The year is 2018 and two US astronauts touch down on the moon. Unbeknownst to them, they are far from alone as the dark side of the moon is actually home to a legion of Nazis who fled the earth at the end of World War II to set up shop there. One of the surviving astronauts, a model (?) by the name of Washington, is taken captive and driven to a huge swastika–shaped mega fortress. Inside, he is introduced to a giant battleship which the Nazi finally manage to power through the use of Washington’s smartphone. Shame the battery power is almost zero.
Washington is then sent back to earth ‘Aryanised’ (in the film’s most risqué gag) along with sexy Earth specialist Renate Richter and Nazi commander Klaus Adler to obtain another device. While there, the opportunistic Adler goes behind the back of new Führer Wolfgang Kortzfleisch (played with a camp relish by the great Udo Kier) and manages to strike a deal with the female President of the United States (a Palin imitation) who is desperate to boost her ailing campaign to stay in power. With Adler intent on world domination, it’s up to the now homeless and destitute Washington and the defected Richter to help save the day.
With such an outlandish premise how could anything go wrong, you ask? One of the biggest problems with the film, unfortunately, is that it’s nowhere near as funny or subversive as it thinks its being. There are some nice ideas thrown in there every so often (Chaplin’s The Great Dictator is re-cut and turned into a 10 minute pro-Nazi propaganda film) and the UN scenes with each nation acting like over-enthusiastic school kids contains some genuine belly-laughs, but it’s just a shame the rest of the film feels so cobbled together and hit and miss.
There’s a fun satire fighting to get out somewhere, but the film simply isn’t amusing or biting enough to attain that ‘cult viewing’ status the makers are so desperately (and obviously) reaching for.
Strangely, the film actually comes up trumps in the effects department, where the real artistry occurs. The spaceships and battles amongst the stars wouldn’t look out of place in a huge Hollywood production. It’s an incredibly impressive feat, given the film’s paltry €7.5 million budget. The outer space action makes the none-CG scenes look static and lumbering by comparison, but at least the digital FX company behind them now possess a fantastic showreel to present to prospective employers.
As a Friday night six-pack of beer companion, Iron Sky may hold a certain curio quality. Just don’t expect a twisted, transgressive modern-day riff on Dr. Strangelove as you’ll be sorely disappointed.